Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Final PQ Challenge of 2014

So the PQ Challenge for December is "Baby, It's Cold Outside."  I had visions of a blue jellyroll quilt with a snowman appliqued on top.  Then I went to find the jellyroll I thought I had and of course, it wasn't what I remembered.  It wasn't a complete jellyroll and there were only a few blues with a lot of yellowy creams.  So I started digging through my stash, thinking I could find enough blues to make my own jellyroll when I happened on leftover strip sets from the wedding quilt I made for my daughter and her husband and a new idea was born.
I call it "January Blues."  It reminds me of the cold, dull month that is January.  There's the after-Christmas let-down, the below zero temps, the bare trees.  Time to cuddle with a quilt and stay indoors.  This quilt has a brushed cotton backing and is 52"x75".  I'm going to give it to my husband so he has his own nap quilt.

By finishing this quilt, I have completed ALL of the PQ challenges for 2014.  I am very proud of myself for that accomplishment.  The first challenge of 2015 will be up in a few days and I can't wait!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

6 am--not this chick!

The theme for the November Project Quilting Challenge is to be inspired by 6 am.  Those of you who know me well know that 6 am and I don't get along very well.  I am NOT a morning person!  It's hard to be inspired by 6 am when I'd rather be in bed.  So, here is my rooster, who had better not dare to wake me up.  I call him "Cock-a-doodle-DON'T."  He's small--13'' x 11'' and is made from Kaffe Fassett fabrics (the background is one of my hand-dyes).  He is kinda cute.
The binding is fused.  I cut 1" strips, then used a decorative rotary cutter blade to trim the strips.  After I fused the binding on, I stitched it down.  I like this finish for a small project.

Friday, October 31, 2014

October Challenge

October has been a busy month, but it has been great.  I am really loving the school year thus far--much better than last year!  I'm feeling more productive in my quilting than last year.  Being happier makes it easier to be motivated to quilt.

So, this month, the challenge was to be inspired by candy corn.  Here is my piece, A Leaf from the Candy Corn Tree.  It is Judy Niemeyer's pattern One.  My son helped me pick out the background colors.  It is 20" x 40".

 Below is a close up of the leaf.  I used my yellow and orange hand-dyes for the leaf and a purple hand-dye for the center vein.  The picture on the right shows a close-up of the binding.  I managed to make a perfect switch in the binding color as I transitioned from one background color to the other.  I'm pretty proud of myself.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Challenge

Here is my miniature for the September Project Quilting Challenge.  I call it "The House on Apple Tree Hill."  It is 13" x 16" and with the exception of the multi-colored strips, it is made of my hand-dyes.  It is a pattern by Laura Wasilowski.  I think it turned out pretty cute.

This has been a great month.  I started my new teaching job and LOVE it!  What a change from a year ago.  I really do better with the younger kids.  I have to say the Project Quilting challenges helped me keep my sanity last school year.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Red and White Challenge

August has been another crazy month.  I was taking some grad classes, and of course, there is all of the back-to-school inservices.  It seems like I didn't have any time to work on the challenge.  I've done everyone so far this year, so I figured I'd better make sure to get this one done, too.  I started and finished it yesterday.  It is 9 1/2" square.  I had plans for something bigger, but life got in the way.

I call this Playing With ThRED.  It's loosely based on a Zentangle design.  I think it turned out pretty cute.  It did give me a chance to work on my machine quilting skills.  I'm never going to be able to do fine, heirloom quilting, but I like the modern look.

This is another reason I did not have time to work on the red and white challenge.  It is a quilt that will be donated to my church's fall festival to be auctioned off.  I spent time at the school run by my church last spring, working with the then-7th grade students.  They cut and sewed the blocks, then I put the whole thing together and quilted it.  The festival is a week from today, so it had to be done.  I work best under a deadline.  :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Independence PQ Challenge

This month's Project Quilting challenge is based on the theme Independence.  Well, this month is a little crazy for me.  I'm taking two graduate classes, I had the grandsons at my house for four days and I'm leaving for my Quiltworx retreat in Montana on Thursday.  Not much time to squeeze in a project, so I made a red, white, and blue scarf.  Ok, so it's not a quilt, but the rules say the project has to be pieced, appliqued, and/or quilted to count.  The scarf is pieced.  It's an infinity scarf and now I have something patriotic to wear to Independence Day celebrations.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Exploded Panel

This month's Project Quilting Off-Season challenge is done.  I call it Exploded Panel.  It is 32" x 34" and I made it right here in Reedsburg, WI.  In this challenge, we had to use a panel or cheater cloth to make a quilt.  I am happy to say that I suggested this to Kim and she used my idea.  :)  I used Ricky Timm's Convergence to make the quilt.  I finished it yesterday, so ignore the date on photo.  I really need to update that on my camera.

Here is a picture of what the panel looked like before I cut into it.  I've had this panel for a long time, waiting for the right project to come along.  I have to admit I was kind of scared to cut into it.  Doing a Convergence takes a leap of faith--you really don't know exactly what it will look like when it is finished.  I used two of my hand-dyes and a commercial batik with the panel to start the Convergence.  Below to the right is a picture of what it started to look like after the first cuts.  At that point, I knew I was going to like it.  Below to the left is a close up of the "exploded" panel.  I really like that skinny border in the chartreuse.  It adds a great pop to the piece.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Mini Dresdens

So here is my challenge piece for the PQ measurement challenge.  The challenge was to use a ruler you have and have never used.  Like a quilter would ever have rulers she hasn't used.  The ruler I used was the EZ Dresden.  I was going to make this big, but I decided that 20x20" was enough.  I will probably use the ruler again and make big Dresedens.  The fabric in the center of the Dresedens and the center of the quilt is for the Sun Prairie Quilt Show Challenge.  You need to use that fabric and the theme was circles or curves.  So, one challenge piece meets the criteria of two challenges.  The bonus is that the Sun Prairie challenge isn't due until March.  I'm actually ahead of the game!
Here's a close-up.  The spokes in the Dresdens are some of my hand-dyes.  Nothing really spectacular, but it is kinda cute.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Birthday Challenge

So, here is my birthday challenge for Project Quilting.  Based on the month and day of your birthday, you were assigned colors.  Mine were orange and maroon.  I call this Tangerine Cosmo for my Birtthday.  I had a tangerine cosmo on my birthday, so the colors and name are fitting, right down to the green representing the lime wedge.  The finished quilt is 60x60.
I really like it.  I used a pattern from a modern patchwork magazine published by Quiltmaker.  The original design, called Prill, was more helter-skelter.  I changed the layout to the pinwheels, then added the green diamond in the center to break up all the orange.  I hand-dyed the orange and pulled the rest of the fabrics from my stash.  I have to say I have been using a lot of stash in the PQ projects.  Not enough to make a dent, but at least I feel I'm being thrifty.
Here is a close-up of the binding.  I did the faux piping.  Most of the piping was maroon, but I added a hint of the green to keep that theme going.  I'm happy with the finished product.  I used a bamboo/cotton batting, which I absolutely love.  I just wish it wasn't so expensive.

My birthday is February 22 and I quilt in Reedsburg, WI.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Graduated Spiral

Here is the Triple Threat Challenge project.  I call it Graduated Spiral.  It is about 34x40.  The challenge involved using fabric from a package purchased from Persimmon Dreams.  The package also included embellishments.  I had to use a recognizable amount of each fabric, as well as the embellishments.
This is a picture of the package I received.  Quite an interesting combination of fabrics and extras.

In addition to using the fabrics and the embellishments, there had to be three star blocks, three nine patches, and one other traditional block.  I used three bulls-eye blocks and three yo-yos to fulfill the other traditional block requirement.  As you can see, I opted to turn my blocks into circles, then spiral them around.

I made one circle block with the embellishments and I ended the spiral with the floral embellishments.  I put all the leftover fabric on the back.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Triangulated Disaster

So, here is my entry for the final challenge of Project Quilting's Season 5.  I see I forgot to change the date on my camera again.  I use it so infrequently, I forget to check stuff like the date.

Anyway, I finally finished it at about midnight.  It is 54" x 61".  I call it Triangulated Disaster because I ran into one problem after another last night trying to finish it.  The only good thing that happened was my Wisconsin Badger basketball team won their game and are moving on to the Sweet Sixteen on Thursday.

Where do I start?  Well, this week was crazy and it was hard to find time to carve out to create.  Last Sunday, I had grading to do and I really had no idea what I was going to do.  I had Kaffe Fassett fabrics floating around in my head, so I did want to include them.  A post on Pinterest by my friend Patsy spurred the design process. The quilt she posted was similar, but had used pieces from an old quilt where I have my triangles.

Monday, I was able to sew, but didn't have the right gray fabric. I stopped at Joann's after work on Tuesday and found the gray, but my son had a choir concert, so there was no sewing for me that night.  Wednesday, I went out to dinner with a friend, but I did manage to get the center pieced.  I put the green squiggle (Kaffe Fassett shot cotton) on because it just seemed to need it.
Thursday, I met with quilt friends and Friday we went to a catfish fry fundraiser for the Lake Delton fire department.  Yummy, but I was left with little time to sew.

Saturday, I worked my second job, so it was about 6 pm before I got to sew.  I still had a ton of work ahead of me.  I turned the TV on to the Badger game and this is what happened between 6 pm and midnight:  a needle broke, I ran out of thread at 11 and didn't have any similar thread to finish the project (finished it with monofilament), in two separate spots the backing flipped over and I quilted it (what a mess!), the backing was about 1/4" short in one corner (of course, I didn't notice this until I had finished quilting), and, worst of all, my sewing machine table broke.  The little piece of chain that holds the platform for making it a flatbed broke in the middle of my free motion.  Scared the crap out of me, but nothing else broke.

I love the final product.  The Kaffe fabrics are perfect for this and I think the colored squiggles scattered throughout it are cool.  I used a bamboo/cotton blend batting that is great to quilt through.

Now to focus on the Triple Threat challenge......

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Rough week

This has certainly been a rough week at school.  As I mentioned in my post last week, one of my students died. He was involved in a snowmobile accident.  The outpouring of emotions from my students has been difficult to witness.  There was sorrow and grief, sometimes anger, many tears and laughter and smiles, too.  Some students were inappropriate, but that is a result of them being so young (7th grade) and unable to handle the situation.

I was at the visitation last night.  I stayed the whole time and hugged a lot of students and teachers.  We on the 7th grade teaching team did well all week, holding it together for the kids, but we hit our wall yesterday.  We finally gave ourselves a chance to grieve, too.  For me, it hits too close to home.  My son is only two years older than Zach.  You never know when a loved one will be taken from you.

My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to Zach's family and friends.  They will need time, love, and support to heal.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Grocery Store Challenge

It is with a heavy heart that I post this morning.  I learned that one of my students passed away over the weekend in a snowmobile accident.  He was a seventh grade; definitely too young to die.  Please say a prayer for his family and all his young friends.

My challenge seems awfully sunny and bright to follow such sad news, but here it is.  I call it Citrus Salad and my three inspirations were lemons, limes, and oranges.  It is ironing pad and tote to take my travel iron to classes in.
The orange and yellow wedges are leftovers from another project. I am making a quilt for my oldest grandson using construction truck fabric.  I cut the blocks wonky, so the orange and yellow are the trimmings from the wonky cuts.
Here it is laying open.  I've had that travel iron for about 25 years and it is still going strong.  Gotta love Black and Decker products!  For the batting, I used a sample of InsulFab by Warm that I've had laying around for awhile.  I covered both sides of the InsulFab with muslin.
Here's the catch...I can't figure out how to fold the darn thing.  The directions I got off the internet were great for the construction part of the project, but they showed the whole thing folded up without step-by-step directions to do it.  You should have seen my husband and I trying to figure it out!  Well, it's done and I have been wanting to make one for awhile.  Thanks again, Project Quilting, for getting my butt in gear!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Project Quilting Challenge

So, here is the quilt I made for the Project Quilting challenge, Across the Universe.  My husband designed this quilt in August of 1987 and I am finally getting around to making it.  I call it "Starry, Starry Night."  The background fabric was hand-dyed by my friend, Chris Daly.  I played around with Angelina fibers for the first time.  The moon is Angelina, and I overlaid Angelina on the Big Dipper stars.  I didn't bind the piece; I just turned the front to the back and stitched.  I was afraid a binding would take away from the overall effect.

I started this last Sunday, but most of the work was done yesterday and today.  I see the picture is dated Feb. 5--I guess I'd better fix that on my camera for the next challenge.